Love: a noun or a verb; its etymology dates back to the 1800s “lufu” or “leubh”— desire or care.
At church on Sunday, Jo talked about “love.” That simple word conjures up all kinds of feelings because we employ it to explain experiences as varied as the emotions of star-gazing lovers or buying a new car. (Ideally, there’s a difference between loving a living being and a new vehicle.)
Love can be compassionate or passionate and guide you to generosity beyond what you would have ever dreamed. It includes benevolence, kindness, empathy; it can be unconditional, tender, pious, or infatuating.
“Love” can be a calling (like ministering to the undervalued); it can create art, label a significant other, be cherishing or enamoring. Love invites you to see the value in others and meet them where they are.
If you’ve been hurt by loving another, you may see love as power handed over—too frightening to risk again—but genuine love can also be the antidote that mends pain and opens doors that have been shut.
When Jo posed the question, “What is Love?” to our community, I jotted down:
the generosity of graciousness
the sanctity of solidarity
the purity of peacefulness
the unity of understanding
the fragility of forgiveness
What do you believe about “love?”
One of the songs performed beautifully by The Blend—our faith community’s amazing band—was “After the Last Tear Falls.” ❷ I’ve heard this melody often, yet it always makes me pause. Andrew Peterson tells a story about secrets and bullets, starving children and girls on the streets. He sings of lies and politics, prison and missions, failed plans and wars, broken marriages, and broken innocence.
The final lyrics are:
“And in the end, the end is oceans and oceans of love and love again
We’ll see how the tears that have fallen
Were caught in the palms of the Giver of love and the Lover of all
And we’ll look back on these tears as old tales
Cause after the last tear falls there is love.”
In our broken world, when love sometimes seems to fail us, when the dark threatens to shut out the light, we need to reach out and reach in. We need to believe in the value of all and create love—pure love, sacred love, love that binds wounds, love that heals.
The word “Love” is thrown around so casually. We’re often so caught up in all that’s happening around us—the amazing, the horrific, the mundane, the blessed, the peaceful, and the chaotic that we don’t fully see. We’re so busy doing or worrying or planning that we miss the now.
We miss life.
We miss the love.
My prayer for all of us today is that we recognize all that we do have, live into all we want to be, and love always.